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MKat MKat is offline
 
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Long hard discussion with my mom about pandemic depression
Old 07-16-2020, 01:38 PM
  #1

Are you struggling with this? I am. I think everyone is. I had a long discussion last night with my mom about this.

My parents live in a senior living situation. At the beginning of this, mom lived in assisted living and dad was in memory care on the same property. However, once they were isolated mom wasn't able to walk over to the other building to see dad. We finally made the decision to move mom over with dad. We made it through that process, (not an easy feat during COVID) but now she's living in memory care and is struggling with the transition.

Mom is still at the beginning of her memory loss and has a full understanding of events, but doesn't always put together the pieces or remember how one thing affects another. She is feeling isolated and bored and wants to get out. She was blaming it all on moving to the new place. She's forgotten that she was having those same feelings in her other apartment plus not seeing dad. I reminded her about the pandemic and how all around the world there are people struggling with isolation, boredom, and feeling despondent about our SHARED situation. I shared a few stories of how people are coping. Me, people I know, you, other people I've read about. She said something to the effect of "I'm sorry all those people are sad, but I just feel so much better that I'm not alone in this."

Mom has the people she lives with, (once again including dad) the staff, a phone, and her television. But she doesn't have the ability to use a computer. In her little bubble she doesn't realize what the rest of us are going through.

Thank you, my internet friends. I realized after talking to her that it is YOU that are keeping me from feeling like she does. Having message boards, facebook, email, zoom meetings, and youtube has kept me connected in a way that would not be possible otherwise. When I feel sad, I'm just a few keystrokes away from knowing I am not alone. Your "voices" come directly into my home and make me feel like I have had company in a much more personal way than watching tv. Reading your stories helps me feel involved and not alone.


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You are right
Old 07-16-2020, 01:48 PM
  #2

I value my PT time.
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Old 07-16-2020, 01:55 PM
  #3

Thank you for sharing this. I need to remember to call my mom daily!
Mom is 3-4 hours away from me in a memory care unit due to beginning dementia. We can't visit due to covid restrictions. She has been slowly deteriorating, and phone conversations with her are getting more and more difficult. She's also blind, and is having a harder time figuring out how to use her audio books from the blind association. No computer, no tv, no handwork. Often she'll be in bed by 7:00 because she's bored. I can't imagine how long her days must seem to her. I encourage her to go out and visit with others in the general areas, but not recognizing faces makes it hard for her. Getting old can be hard!
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Definitely not alone...
Old 07-16-2020, 01:59 PM
  #4

Having to support your parents through this difficult time is a challenge. I am glad that these forums, and others like it are helping you through.

I live alone, and have found the pandemic situation tough. I had retired two years ago and was enjoying a life of friends and travel. I had the gym, the library, lunches with friends, traveling with a neighbor, and had planned on joining a local club which does volunteer work in the field of literacy this fall. Now, the gym is closed, I am not comfortable with outdoor dining yet myself, and any vacation plans for the fall are off. Our condo pool is closed, as well and since the beach is a 2 hour drive and crowded, I am not looking to go there.

My books, Zoom, virtual events on Facebook and a few socially distanced get togethers with a few friends has helped me get through. The library has reopened, so I always have a supply of good books. Baseball, my favorite sport, will be back next week, so I will not have the news on as much.

I wish I could see an end to this pandemic, but I don't. I consider myself very fortunate that I am retired and do not have to think of returning to school in September, and that as of now, I am well.
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Old 07-16-2020, 02:02 PM
  #5

It must be really hard on your mom living in a memory unit without really being able to have a conversation with her neighbors. I hope your conversation cheered her up and she knows you and others are there for her.

Pre-Covid I rarely went out because of a physical disability so I am use to not really seeing people. But, with this virus I find myself getting down because now it isn't an option to go out and about and do things I like to do.


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Old 07-16-2020, 02:42 PM
  #6

Thanks for sharing your story. I agree. This group helps me to feel connected during this difficult time.
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Old 07-16-2020, 03:38 PM
  #7

Yes, dealing with this. Mom, 89 and widowed since 1994 is having a tough time. I will spare you the details, but this has been so hard on her - and she had some new heart problems crop up in April which required two procedures, one in late May and one in mid-June. I spent June with her and now am home. She is anxious, lonely, sad and my brother and I (we both live out of state) have arranged companion care for her. But it is less than ideal.

Mom thinks that the rest of us are living high on the hog - she sees the news reports with the crowded beaches and restaurants, the busy stores, etc....
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Old 07-16-2020, 03:53 PM
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Old 07-16-2020, 04:47 PM
  #8

What a difficult position you are in with your parents. I only had one parent in memory care so I can only imagine what it must be like with two. And I feel for your mom. Shes not as far along the memory journey as those in your dad's unit, but she knows shes going in that direction.

I so wish I had a solution for you. Hope it helps that I understand your angst and anxiety.
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Old 07-16-2020, 04:54 PM
  #9

Thank you for sharing your story. No advice. Just know that Im thinking of you.
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Old 07-16-2020, 07:39 PM
  #10

Wow. Thanks for the understanding! Its hard to watch parents go through this, but this pandemic has added so many layers to the challenge!


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